[erlang-questions] Announcing Erlang.org Code of Conduct

Tim Butterfield timbutterfield@REDACTED
Sun Mar 15 05:42:28 CET 2015

On Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 8:26 PM, Sean Cribbs <sean@REDACTED> wrote:
> If we want the Erlang community to be one that welcomes newcomers of all
> types, appreciates the contributions of the non-privileged, and fosters
> goodwill, we need to be more specific than "Be nice to each other". At
> minimum, I would like to see affordances for people -- especially those who
> are not in the majority -- who have grievances, means to report and act on
> violations of the CoC, and how those in authority are affected by and held
> to the CoC.

I am a recent Erlang user.  Recently, I took a look at the contents of
this list via the Google Groups interface.  The first thread I read
was about the CoC.  My first inclination was not to feel welcomed, but
to flee.  No imposition is welcoming, especially ones requiring a
change in default MUA behavior.  I decided to give the group a chance
to see how this plays out.  Since welcoming new users was intended,
the following is how this new member feels about this.

As for being nice, it might be sufficient.  The
http://www.c-brats.com/ forum (about C-Dory boats) has this statement:
"No Rules - Just be nice!"  That was the most welcoming wording I have
seen.  For them, this has been sufficient for many years.  That forum
was created because the prior forum had too many rules.  Many members
of the old forum moved over to the new one and the prior forum is now
gone.  Rules may be necessary, though I do not generally consider them
welcoming.  Please do not consider the necessity as a welcome.  I have
also been other places where necessary rules have been imposed due to
behaviors.  Rules equating to 'be nice' do not trouble me, as I try to
be by default.

Wording matters.  I appreciated the word 'discouraged' on the item
about top posting, though this conflicts with it being an offense for
which one can be banned.  Something one can be banned for is
prohibited, not just discouraged.  It is similar for 'Try' for line
length, which can be effectively impossible as not all MUA are
conducive to this.  I use gmail.  I'm not sure anything other than
manually counting characters on every line is possible, especially
with the default proportional font. If necessary, I could use HTML
emails just so I could use Courier and count characters more easily.
I may accidentally leave in the character ruler line used for checking
line length.  My guess is that would be worse and not better for those
who prefer 74 characters lines.  Be careful what is required.  You
might get it along with the side effects.

The text in the second paragraph of the CoC seems directed at those in
a moderator role.  Or, is the intent that anyone can decide for
themselves to act as moderator.  I'm not sure I want to fit in that
category, especially as a new member.  Also, is it intended that these
discussions of infraction be public instead of private?  Reading that
text as a new member makes me wonder whether the CoC is for general
members or for moderators.

Overall, it would be nice to know the difference between
policy/prohibitions for which one can be banned and simple preference.
The current CoC seems to confuse these, at least, I hope it is just
confusion.  I would not want to risk being banned simply because I
forgot to override a controllable MUA behavior (top posting) once too


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